From Kirk Talley’s e-mail newsletter today:

Sunday morning I sang in Kilgore, Texas at the First Bapt Church of Danville. Pastor Freeman Pierce invited me to share my testimony and sing. The church is a new church, only been established 9 weeks. Freeman shared with me before the service how the church was started and the outreach and the vision of the people there. I was blessed to be there already. I shared my testimony that morning and I noticed lot’s of people wiping tears. After I concluded, Freeman came to the stage and shared with me that in the audience that morning were a lot of people that were dealing with strongholds in their lives. A murderer, a cocaine addict, a heroine addict, a doctor who was going to prison for illegal drug use. …. He even shared that a prostitute had tried to solicit sex with him a few weeks prior. He witnessed to her and his wife went and picked the girl up and took her to the church. The young girl accepted Christ as her savior and has been free from drugs for the past 16 days.

The desire to help troubled souls is honorable, and I’m glad that people have been given solutions to their addictions and other wrongs.

However, the limited list of sins is instructive: murder, drug addiction, prostitution. There is no mention of sins discussed most often in the Bible: greed, sloth, war, hubris, usury, exploitation of the poor and vulnerable. And sadly, there is no obvious indication whether Pastor Pierce can make rational distinctions between same-sex affection and manslaughter.

If Talley disagrees with this buffet-style morality — an "ethic" in which churches freely indulge in sin at Food Table A while judging those who eat from Table B — then he does not share that disagreement publicly.

At the risk of overgeneralizing, I’ll phrase this another way: I see a pattern in the testimonies of deliverance given in the southern gospel music circuit. In limiting their moral vision to stereotypical red-state cliches, many of America’s churches and religious spokespersons seem to have blinded themselves to blue-state (and purple-state) moral imperatives.

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